Red Bean Pot de Creme Recipe
To me, Vietnamese desserts taste delicious. My husband Lulu, however, is not a big fan of either their taste or their aesthetics. Lulu has a serious sweet tooth, so for him, the very subtle use of sugar in Vietnamese desserts is not nearly satisfying enough. I love the flavors though, so I decided to make a French and Asian fusion dessert that would make us both smile.
After much deliberation, I decided to make red bean pots de crème. Red bean, in case you don’t know, is often found in Asian desserts. To incorporate the ingredient, I used the same technique as for making traditional pots de crème, but I also added mashed sweetened red beans. In addition, I substituted coconut milk for regular cow's milk. To make the dessert more attractive, I added a dollop of matcha-flavored whipped cream and garnished with green-colored sugar.
The visual is nice and the flavors and texture are intense and rich. Mission accomplished!
Yields: 16 mini ramekins2 egg yolks
¼ cup granulated sugar
½ teaspoon coconut extract
½ (15-ounce) can sweetened red beans
1/8 teaspoon salt
¼ cup coconut milk
1-½ cups heavy cream
3 tablespoons matcha green tea powder
3 tablespoons powdered sugar
2 tablespoons green-colored sugar (optional)
1 tablespoon green-colored edible sugar decorations (optional)
Preheat the oven to 350°F.
For the red bean custard:
Using a blender, combine the red beans with coconut milk. Set aside.
Using an electric mixer, whisk the eggs with sugar until they become pale yellow. Add the red bean purée and salt.
In a saucepan, bring 1 cup of cream to a near boil. Don't over-cook; otherwise the fat might start separating and create an oily layer on top of the dessert. Add the cream and coconut extract to the red bean purée. It's important to add the cream slowly to prevent the yolks from curdling. Strain the dairy liquid through a fine mesh sieve into a bowl to remove the red bean solids.
Fill 16 mini ramekins with the red bean custard. Place them in a warm water bath in a deep baking pan. The water should go half-way up the side of the ramekins (at least a 1-½-inch-high level of water). Loosely cover the dish with a sheet of aluminum foil and place in the oven for 30 minutes. Open the oven and remove the aluminum foil; continue cooking at 325°F for another 5-10 minutes. The texture of the pots de crème should be a little jiggly but not liquid (the custard will get firmer and creamier as it chills in the refrigerator).
Allow the pots de crème to cool completely first, then plastic-wrap each individual cup and chill in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours. The fat from the cream may pick up other food odors from the refrigerator if the cups are not sealed properly.
For the matcha-flavored cream: Warm the rest of the cream (make sure not to reach a full boil). In a small bowl, dissolve the matcha green tea in the hot cream. Allow to cool completely and place in the refrigerator for optimum results. The whipping cream should be whipped cold. First, whisk the heavy cream for about 2 minutes at low speed. Add the powdered sugar and increase the speed of your mixer and keep beating for another 2-3 minutes until it forms soft peaks. Don't over-beat or the texture will become grainy.
Assembly time: When serving, unwrap the cups, pipe a dollop of matcha whipped cream and sprinkle with both the green sugar and green decorations (if used).
Enjoy with a matcha green tea latte.
Check out more custard recipes.
I used Morinaga Ogura An sweetened red bean brand; you can find it in most Asian stores.
I used Chaokoh brand coconut milk. You can find this in most Asian stores as well.
Matcha is Japanese green tea powder. I buy mine at Teavana in the Stanford Shopping Center, in Palo Alto, California. You can also find it online. It's fairly expensive and has a very delicate flavor. As soon as your matcha tea box is unsealed, store it in the refrigerator or in the freezer because of its short shelf life. To check for quality, matcha should have a beautiful jade green color. If it's yellow and dull, it's time to toss it. You can use it often in baking for macarons, cakes, cookies or custards or you can turn many pastries a nice green color.
Visually, the matcha whipped cream wasn't green enough to my taste. So I added green food coloring; I dipped a toothpick in the bottle and added the tiny drop to the cream. It doesn't affect the taste.
Published By: on February 21, 2011.